Friday Five: 21-7-17

A weekly rundown of what I’m loving each week:

Reading: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in one sitting but this one had me gripped. There were several quotes which hit me right in the feels and a twist that made me gasp. Read it. 

Listening: This might seem odd but I love a bit of Skepta, it makes me feel like a badass. I’ve been kind and provided the radio edit link. All together now ‘that’s not me and it’s shutdown’ *

Watching: My first ever Woody Allen film! ‘Cafe Society’ was gently enjoyable and the staging was gorgeous. The only minor problem was Steve Carell as Phil Stern because… his voice is just Gru from Despicable Me. Although, Blake Lively *loveheart eyes emoji*

Lusting: Pinky Promise would look so so good on my wall. Totally added it to my basket and it will no doubt be joined by other bits and bobs. Fy is a great website.

Loathing: Feeling old! How do I have a nephew that is ten?! I remember the day I met him, I was so scared holding him because I thought I’d drop him and now I wouldn’t be able to lift him at all. TEN.

Regulators! Mount up 

“You and me were meant to be, walking free in harmony”

Driving down the A31 towards an Urban Family weekend I heard the familiar voice of Skye from Morcheeba coming out of Spotify.

Instantly it was the summer of 2000 again and I was driving down the A31 en route to stay with JT and his family, my first long distance love. Funnily enough the Dorchester arm of the Urbans live at the other end of the very same road where I spent many a weekend with him talking about going out and conquering the world together.

There are certain songs that make the breath catch in my chest and the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. These songs can feel like a whoomph of adrenaline or can bring tears to the eyes. They can cause the biggest dimple inducing grin or sometimes an actual guffaw.

I can’t listen to “How Do I Live”  without crying. I once ran out of an engagement party when it came on, the girls following in my wake to make sure I was okay. We reached the top of the stairs together and all it took was a misplaced heel to tumble us all from top to bottom in a tangle of limbs. Giggles rang round the walls swiftly followed by tears when I remembered why I can’t bear it because it’s very first song I heard leaving the hospital the day that Mum died.

“Astair” makes me want to throw a shoe through the nearest pane of glass. The harpsichord comes on and whilst it’s a beautiful song I feel the rage bubble up inside me. It’s ruined, ruined I tell you. It’s frankly amazing what a fuckwit can do to one of your favourite songs.

“Regulate” reminds me of a summer playing basketball by hopping the fence of a local school (yep, totally trespassing). Memories have turned it into something reminiscent of a hip NYC court in the middle of brownstone buildings, heat rising off the pavements and an awesome soundtrack. Or basically the Top Gun volleyball montage without the toplessness and homoerotic overtones. In fact it was a British summer in the West Sussex suburbs and Penny Hardaway I was not.

Then there are those songs that get so far under your skin you swear you can see the lyrics under your epidermis. Those chords and words that perfectly sum up a moment; a thought; a situation.

This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world.”  

I’ve been in this moment so many days and so many nights. Eyes that are stinging and tears that feel like they will never ever cease. That feeling that you’re not going to win the battle OR the war. And then in the blink of an eye and the skip of a track you find yourself doing duckface in the mirror whilst rapping along to Iggy Azalea and you know it’s all going to be okay.

 

Love from hobo

Dear Mumma, 

We need to get things straight around here. I’ve got the street smarts and I’m bringing the cute so you need to up your game. Right now you’re only bringing the food into the equation. And Whiskas ain’t all that. 


I don’t think it’s fair you call me “Hellbeast” and tell everyone I’m a stage 5 clinger. I can’t help it if I need to keep an eye on you because you come home drunk and tell me about all the daft shit you get up to. I know I sit and watch you sleep, and I know I shoved the lamp off your bedside table with my big fat fluffy butt but I needed to get comfy for my nightly vigil. 


My bum reeks but so does your perfume and if you persist in spraying Febreeze round the flat then I will persist in breathing stinky breath over you first thing in the morning. I know we don’t agree but half past four is definitely breakfast time – I’ll tolerate it from the auto feeder but that will only leave you on borrowed time until I want my second breakfast. Just call me Hobo the Hobbit. 

I like snuggling on your lap but when you speak in that baby voice and talk about nug nugs I just want to cough up a hairball on your favourite hoodie. You stop calling it that and I’ll stop watching you shower, capisce? 


I like you calling me Bobo and Bingle Pie but not when you call me a dickwad. It’s not my fault that I lick your hair to wake you up, your conditioner is very tasty. I do apologise for licking your bellybutton to wake you up that day – I’d never seen one before and thought there might be Dreamies in there! 

If you promise to let me do my zoomies from excitement on a Monday morning when the bin men come I promise to stop pawing at the window when I see the neighbour ladies making them think I’m being neglected. I don’t like going to the vet (and even when you spell it out v.e.t I know what you’re on about) but I know how much you fancy him so I’ll tolerate it. If he ever tries to shove a thermometer up my butt I won’t be held responsible for my actions. 


With headboops, farts in your face, and a bit of love I suppose… 

Hobo Fireball Dave L-M 

now you are ten

Dear Samjam,

I’ve not written to you like this before but on the occasion of your 10th birthday I thought it only fitting to mark this special birthday for a special kid. In short (unlike you who is growing like a weed) you’re a delight. I’m so proud of you and I love spending time with you. I know you’re getting to the stage where I’m an embarrassment and you won’t want to be seen with Aunty Owl – you definitely won’t want me waiting at the school gate or pretending that the trolley in Tesco is a race car and believe me I get that. What I’m hoping is that when you get a bit older and girls come onto the horizon properly or you’re in the doghouse with Mum and Dad you’ll be able to come to your Owl for some advice. Although given how many girlfriends you’ve had and the fact you once asked ‘Aunty Owl, when are you going to get married? I’m going to get married when I’m 26 and you’re way older than that’ perhaps I should be asking you.

Hormones will kick in soon and you’ll go from being a loveable; outgoing; cheerful boy into a mizzog; smelly; grunty manchild who thinks all adults are crap and that’s fine, we’ll weather that storm with you and look forward to welcoming you back into the real world when you come out the other side. I know you’re destined for bright things with the winning combination you’ve got of Aunty Owl’s intelligence, Aunty Owl’s humour, Aunty Owl’s creativity and let’s not forget… Aunty Owl’s modesty!

You’re a lovely older brother to Bennybenula – we fully expect you to find him a pain in the arse at some stage but it won’t last. You’ll gang up on Mum and Dad together and I’m sure there’ll be slamming doors and shouting but you must remember that they will always love you and always be there for you. Even if you get drunk and puke over Mum (ask Dad about his experiences of this with Grandma…)

When you’re a bit older I’ll tell you all about your Grandma who would have (DOES!) love you utterly. I’ll also tell you all the stories that your Dad would rather I didn’t (roly polys down the stairs, Humph?) and show you as many incriminating photos of Mum and Dad that I can muster.

Wherever life takes you, whatever it throws at you, and whatever path you take I’m here for you.

Twit Twooooo I love youuuuu!

Aunty Owl xxxx

Stapler: 1, Alice: Infinity! 


The photo on the left is me nine years ago today leaving for the hospital to have major life changing (saving) surgery. The photo on the right was taken 2 years ago at my first industry conference when I was loving life and ten stone lighter.

I know there are people who think I took the easy way out by having my stomach stapled and I understand whilst also disagreeing with every fibre of my being. I let go of a friend who told me I was ‘sooooo lucky’ to have had the surgery, not because it quite literally saved my life but because as she openly admitted she was struggling with Weight Watchers and was envious.

It most definitely isn’t the easy way out to be told at 25 that you’re at ‘catastrophic risk of a fatal thrombosis’ and that if you don’t have surgery you’ll be dead by the age of 30. Having to sit down with your loved ones and explain your decision and the risks both of having the surgery and NOT having the surgery is excruciatingly embarrassing. To feel like such a failure around food and in life that you’ve fucked your body up enough to need an operation and having to admit to it is not the easy way out.  

It most definitely isn’t the easy way out to be sick all the time, with no pattern. It’s never the same foods and it gets very dull very quickly having to excuse yourself to vomit. I puked so much on a trip in Florida that I lost half a stone and spent 3 days in hospital having created a small tear in my oesophagus. I’ve never counted up the amount of money I’ve wasted on meals which have made me chunder and I’m not proud of the times I’ve had to make myself sick to stop delaying the inevitable and be able to get rid of the ‘ohmygodi’mgoingtopuke’ feeling.

Without it however, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

I would be dead.

Sometimes when I’m bemoaning the size of my arse or beating myself up that I still have weight to lose I have to remind myself how far I’ve come and of all the wonderful things I have experienced in the past nine years which I would have missed out on. I’d have missed two more nephews and a niece, countless weddings and special occasions, some incredible holidays, and the chance to live my best life. I’ve done things I would never have dreamt of before surgery and some I would never have been physically able to do and I know that I have a lot more yet to come.

I’m always going to be ‘bigger than the average bear’ (as my Pops likes to say) and I will always have issues about body confidence and self-confidence but little by little, glimmer of confidence by glimmer of confidence, pound by hard fought for bloody pound, I’m claiming the Alice I’m supposed to be. 

Sunday Sound Off: Revenge Porn

Revenge is a dish best served cold, but best served on Instagram or social media? Heck no. Yes Rob Kartrashian I’m looking at you. Not only is it illegal, and I’m really hoping your family fame whore dollars won’t get you out of a custodial sentence, but it’s also morally abhorrent.

People will always send saucy pictures and messages, I’ll confess to being a fan of a fruity message in my time (no photos, that’s like Olympic level selfie-ing) but you have to be sure that the recipient isn’t a vindictive knobwang who will put your fanny on the internet should things go South.

I’d like to think that he’ll will be single for the rest of his life, that this bout of dickish behaviour will serve as a clarion call to all women everywhere to avoid him like the plague but I can guarantee it won’t. When their daughter Dream is old enough she’ll be in a living nightmare when she realises Daddy put Mummy’s nudie pics online for public consumption. Couldn’t he have mustered up enough respect for the Mother of his child to leave the evidence on his hard drive where it belonged?

Social media is instantaneous which can be fab when you want to know what the new guy in Eastenders has been in before, or where the nearest pub selling gin is but in situations like this it can prove fatal. The red mist descends and you go for the jugular and then for most people the guilt sets in and posts are whipped down (never fast enough to avoid the deadly screenshot however). For Mr Kartrashian though, once his Instagram account was nixed he hopped on over to Twitter and continued the onslaught. If guilt is about what you’ve done, and shame is about who you are, then this is a definite case of shame shame know your name.

The moral of the story is by all means take pictures of your twig and giggleberries but unfortunately you have to be prepared that be it by hack, by ‘harmless’ sharing with friends, or by a vindictive twat who needs to be locked up there is a good chance your growler could end up on Google for all the world to see.

 

A-Z: Advice to my seventy-year-old self

Dear Weasel,

I’ll accept no excuses if you’re not still a card carrying member of the Urban Family (unless you’re dead in which case make sure you haunt them) because that bunch of misfits have been wonderful to you and plyed you with enough pink wine to sink a battleship.

If you’re married then I hope he’s a kind man with a nice face who makes you laugh. If he has a penchant for wearing nappies I’ll be less pleased, and if he’s a magician I’d like someone to smack you upside the head because magicians = the devil.

Make sure your home still has books all over it and artworks on the wall – they make you happy. Try not to still be swearing, it’s most unbecoming for a lady of your advanced years. Actually, fuck that, you love a good fucking swear from time to time.

Drink gin. And if drinking it with Schweppes is what you want to do then so be it. Just never with cucumber. Make sure you’re not one of those old ladies who smells of lavender, or even worse of piss and peppermints. Don’t go on and on, your niblings really don’t want to hear about ‘the good old days’ particularly as the World is currently imploding.

Speaking of the niblings, don’t be distant. Make sure they know how awesome you are because right now they adore you and if you screw that up for future me I will NOT be impressed. Spend more time in New England.

Don’t start reading bodice rippers – your sex life might be dead (or who knows, you might be swinging from the light fittings!) but that’s no reason to read Mills and Boon. Don’t be tempted to try and write a Mills and Boon like Grandma, no child needs to find that!

Let people important to you know you love them. Spread compliments like wildfire. Try to love yourself inside and out, and never never lose your muchness. You sparkle.

If you’re still beating yourself up about your weight or your body then I swear to God I will find a way to make you rue the day you were born.

Love you, love you, mean it, mean it.

Weasel xx

(With thanks to ‘My Life: An autobiographical journal from adventures to zealous plots’ by Mr Boddington’s Studio)

#8 Own A Cat

I know, this one hardly sets the world on fire but when you have a list of 100 things to do they’re not all going to be groundbreaking.

Most of you know of his existence, he frequently makes it onto my Facebook by virtue of being a little tinker which should really have been his name rather than Hobo Fireball Dave. He’s affectionately known as Bingles when he’s being good, and Dickwad when he’s being a dickwad. Which is quite often, but I wouldn’t be without him.

8 own a cat

Friday Five: 14-07-2017

A new weekly rundown of what I’m loving each week.

Reading: ‘The Life of a Scilly Sergeant’ by Colin Taylor. Sergeant Taylor came into my life via the Isles of Scilly Police Facebook page which a friend shared and from the get go I was hooked. Policing on Scilly is very different to the mainland and this book is well worth a read – before it hits our screen as a major TV series.

Listening: Never been a Selena Gomez fan but she’s killing it with ‘Bad Liar‘ which is the catchiest song I’ve heard in a while. The lyrics are fairly close to home right now too (oops).

Watching: I’m not proud but I’ve been sucked in to ‘Love Island’ much like the rest of the UK. I can’t name them all as they’re still one homogenous lump but the Jonny/Camilla/Craig/Jamie storyline has been acers.

Lusting: OH MY DAYS. I could spend so much money on Tada and Toy right now. Their gold star hair pins are the stuff of dreams.

Loathing: Mother fucking hay fever! My nose is twitching so much I may as well have floppy ears and a fuzzy tail. I’m managed to dodge it for thirty five years so I can’t complain too much but my lord it’s irritating.